Saturday, 30 August 2014

Shock and Awwwww! Amped up for The Little One Hundred - it's a short circuit.

Watt's that you say?  Starting off this post with a battery of bad jokes?  
Guilty as charged!! 
How can I possibly rectify it?  Dunno... read on.

Sometimes you just have the need for speed, right? I sure do.

This one's for you, oh Fred of the Sea
There's nothing like it.  When you're pushing your body to its absolute limit and you're moving as fast as you possibly can, you're having a bio-chemical experience unlike any other, and I for one quite rely upon it. It has been linked to a slowing of the ageing process itself, strenuous exercise, and it certainly changes the way this crazy-assed body feels. I drip sweat till my hair is wet through and even then I want to go harder, and faster still.  It hurts, yet it feels so good.  I love how the bike really becomes a part of you when you're whipping downhill as fast as your legs will take you, and digging deep for just a little more.

And yet McDuh. I only just lately figured out that it's an aspect of my ambition, this need for speed. I have aspirations of being punctual; I am almost compulsive about being somewhere on time, and yet it seems like I am always running exactly two minutes late and am forever trying to catch the next light, just the same as the woman in the car next to me. And there you have it: the perfect sprinterval training program for babblegs of steel.

Running late gave me the need for speed, and made me a fast fred.  So I spent day two of my Wheelmen's deluxe weekend riding the Little One Hundred.  That's sort of like a criterium, except it's held on an exceptionally bumpy old 400 meter asphalt oval running track.

The day began in typical Vancruiser fashion, with a long and luxurious pre-ride liquid picnic, and a chance to check out what sort of wheels were kicking around.

This ride was nearly a non-event.  We had heard the day before that the guy who organizes these things had cancelled the Little One Hundred because he had to be out of town for the weekend.  We heard the news at August's Vintage Ride the day before, but we all decided that it might be worth it to head over anyways, just to see what sort of bikes came out to play.  Then, when it came time to start the race, we nearly didn't ride. We had some issues putting a team together, but managed to find a couple of people to ride with us, even if only for a few laps.

It didn't hurt that both of our last-minute team members were super strong riders. Thus we had the requisite four member team.  Not that it would have mattered. Since there were only a few teams there that day to ride, and since the whole thing was almost cancelled, the impromptu race organizers said that we could have ridden even if there were only three of us. According to them, it was a "No Rules" ride.

No rules?! Hooray!
So we entered the No Rules Little One Hundred. Remember, this is a Wheelmen event, where the bikes are the star of the show and the beer is always a close runner-up.  Except when it steals the spotlight, that is...

Passing the baton?
A little way into the ride we started to hear grumblings from the peanut gallery that ours wasn't a legal bike. We had the requisite 26" wheels, and it was a single speed bike, as per the usual rules.  But a few people were upset that we had drop bars.  They figured we should be penalized ten laps for riding a non-regulation bike in the no-rules ride.

And it is true, that our bike was better than theirs, but not because we were bent over drop bars. Even if we had flipped the handle bars over to make it an upright experience, we would have won, because our bike was geared properly for that ride.  After spending a bit of time testing out the bike on the track, we decided to run a 52, while everybody else was spinning wildly in the 40's. They didn't stand a chance.  Needless to say, we won the race with a fair few laps to spare, but even so, we weren't allowed to take home first prize. 

Holding D cup
I didn't care about the prize - after all, we weren't even going to ride when the race began.  But it was decided that our non-regulation bike meant that despite winning D cup, we weren't entitled to first prize. That went to the guys who came in second.  We won what was originally second prize, and at first I was really excited by the prospect, because it was a free bike painting.  I was all "Wow!  That's great!  Bea bike really needs a paint job!" but of course it wasn't an Electra paint job. Our winnings won't even cover the chainguard and fenders of the Electra, cause that bike is a serious pain to work on any which way you slice it.  Need to change the back tire? Better give yourself three hours or so. 

It is always good to dream, though.  I had visions of Bea looking all shiny and new, like lovely Alison's bike. She was our anchor for the Little One Hundred, riding the last five laps, wrapping up the race, and bringing home D lovely little cup for the lot of us.

That girl can ride. First prize, second prize or no prize at all, it sure was a fun ride, and a great day to be out under the sun, on and around bikes with a few friends. I can't think of a better way to spend an August Sunday.

Sooo many pretty bikes... I love to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am (it isn't much trouble) and with people who are doing what they love. Whenever I go to the Wheelmen's events, I meet the most interesting, inspiring people. People who love bikes as much as I do.  

Ha!  Who am I kidding?  They love them even more than I do! Some people love them so much that they MAKE THEIR OWN!

Come on. Admit it.  That's pretty cool, dontcha think? Making your own bike?!  Never mind that the seat height is tough to adjust, at least without a hacksaw...

I'm always satisfied when I can take a reasonable photo of a bike, never mind building one! Good thing some people excel at it, though, or goodness knows what I would do with myself.  I hate to think what this world would be like without my favourite, timeless machine.

There is a bike for every person, something to suit every taste.  If only everyone knew the joy to be had on two wheels...
A pugnacious ride. If they were in the race, they would be lap dogs!
...this world would be a much sweeter place.


  1. The bike with the sidecar and the small dogs in the sidecar are fun. Thank you.

    1. Right?! What a character THAT guy is... green hair n'all. Thank you for reading spokeNscene! xx

  2. Pleased you overcame the resistance and managed to have a good ride :)
    Nice work on the gear selection. Up there for thinken, down there for... well, you know.

  3. You don't understand. There were only two of you riding that four man relay race (basically), and one of those two was A GIRL. The whiners simply couldn't accept that a long-haired girly girl could possibly kick their asses like that, so it had to be your bike.

  4. I am always late. That increases my watts !
    Vacation time!


  5. Hey babble,

    Check this blog:

    These boys and girls build cruisers you may love.

    1. Beautiful! I love the really old ones retrofitted with fat frank tires...

      Thank you!